I’d like to welcome a new guest blogger to Buddha Belly, Neil Atkinson! I loved learning all about how to choose the best watch for you. I have zero knowledge about watches and just wear my fitbit or my Jord watch so this was a really helpful guide. I especially love the chart he linked to!
Watches today are considered a fashion accessory. In fact, according to a recent survey in the UK, one in four watch owners don’t even use them to tell the time!
Today’s true fashionista has a watch for every kind of style. This may seem excessive to you, but with the huge variety and lower costs of owning a watch today, it is well within your reach too.
The biggest challenge with all this choice though is picking the right watch without spending a fortune so let me show you how to choose the best watch for you. But you are in luck!
Today I am going to show you the 4 main things to keep in mind when choosing perfect watch for yourself.
When it comes to watches size does well and truly matter. No so much for the function or price of the watch, but for how it looks on your wrist.
You might have noticed the latest trend for bigger watches. And that might be something you have been considering too. Just keep in mind that you should always go for a watch that is proportional to your wrist.
Why? Because as humans, we value getting things in proportion. They look better, and feel “right” to us.
So, if you have dainty wrists then don’t go for a huge watch. And likewise, the bigger your wrists, the stranger a small watch will look on you.
But, how do you choose the right size? Well, the simplest way is to head to a watch shop and try a few on. Figure out what looks good to you, and what looks…well, wrong.
If you want to know about sizes to help buy something online, it gets more challenging. Women’s watches at their smallest are in the 26-29mm range (that about an inch or so, but measured in metric, in case you are wondering). So, if you have a small wrist, start with that size, and then anything larger is, well, larger of course. Here is a handy chart to show you, in proportion to an inch, what each size will look like.
Watch Strap Types
After you have picked the size, one of the biggest deciders in how to choose the best watch for you is the strap.
A typical watch will have either a metal or a leather strap. And there are certainly a lot of pros and cons of each of those strap kinds for sure. However, in terms of style, leather tends to be not only more classic but suits a lot more outfits too.
Metal also tends to be far heavier to wear and it looks heavier too. But, if you are heading out to a very classy event, metal straps give you that shine that works really well with any other jewelry you may be wearing. That is something leather just can’t do with the same shine.
If you wear your watch for sport or more casually, then there are other options too. For example, rubber is great for getting wet or sweaty. And nylon or canvas, which although quite cheap in nature, give you lots of options in terms of color.
One great way to extend the life of your watch, in terms of what you can wear it with, is to change the band a lot. Sure, getting off the factory strap is a pain, but if you use Nato or Perlon straps (see the red and blue one in the picture above) you can swap them out in seconds. Give it a thought, as it will save you buying 5 watches, when one might be enough.
This one may seem a little irrelevant, but the things a watch can do play a big role in choosing a watch – even if it’s just for style.
Watches have been stretched to their limits when it comes to their functionality, which has lead to some classic designs you may have seen but never managed to put a name to.
Dive Watch: This is the watch with the numbered ring (aka bezel) around the outside and was made famous by the Rolex Submariner and later Seiko dive watches. This is a typical style watch for men but is quite heavy-looking for most women.
Chronograph: If you want all those fancy little dials on the inside of your watch face, the chronograph is what you are looking for. Designed to help the armed forces and also to just use as a stopwatch, the end result is a stunning looking watch.
Day Date: Another area watchmakers have been busy is adding calendars to watches. The classic is the Day or Day Date, where a little number or number/day combo is shown on the face (usually at the 3 o’clock position, but not always). This is also another way to add style to your watch.
GMT: The GMT is another style you may see around (although usually only on more expensive watches). It has two sets of hands to help you keep time in two locations around the world. It’s a great option for travelers.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to watches. I won’t even get started with Smart Watches, which is a whole other level.
The words “watch movement” may sound a little weird to you if you are not a watch freak. The movement is the thing that drives the watches hands. It helps keep the time and ensures accuracy.
Years ago, watches were always mechanical (gears) but in the late 60s / early 70s, the Japanese completely changed the watch world with the invention of the Quartz watch movement. You wouldn’t even know it now, but back then this was huge.
Quartz watch movements are insanely accurate and super cheap. They blew the Swiss watchmakers out of the water!
So, these days, you will mostly find quartz movements on lower end watches. Mechanical movements are just too expensive. But, you can still get some for around 100 bucks or more, if you look around a bit.
What does this all mean for you and your style? Well, quartz watches are super-thin compared to mechanical ones. As a result, they are great for looking more slender on your wrist.
But, they use batteries. So, you need to change them every few years, normally.
Mechanical movements are far more classy and typically showpieces people spend a whole months salary on. They are usually thicker and heavier, and sometimes don’t even require winding (if it is an automatic watch which winds from your arms movement). If you get a really nice one, they sometimes come with see-through backs too (and partial fronts) which can really grab attention!
Summing It All Up
That was a lot of information, I know, learning how to choose the best watch for you can be far more difficult than most people give it credit for.
If you are looking for a new watch anytime soon, just keep these 4 things in mind:
- how big do you want to go (and can go compared to your wrist)
- what kind of strap do you want – metal, leather, or rubber (keeping in mind you can use swapped out straps)
- how do you want the face to look (simple, dive style, complex with dials etc)
- what kind of movement (a matter of money, battery, and thickness)
Once you have narrowed that down, it is just a matter of taste!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to choose the best watch for you. I know I did. Stay tuned for the next post on Buddha Belly, but in the meantime check out some of my other fashion posts here and here.